Katie's Story

Philadelphia, PA

He was 72, extremely healthy, and had a lot of life left to live.

He served his country as a Marine in Vietnam, and spent the rest of his career in law enforcement, retiring about 3 years ago.

The ER

“My dad was not a complainer, he never mentioned being short of breath.”

It all started after our yearly family Christmas dinner. We had an amazing night. The next day, a few of us fell ill, and then the rest of us became sick on the 27th and 28th. Some of us recovered quickly, while it took others longer (weeks). My dad started having symptoms on the 28th, I hadn’t realized because I was also sick, as were my kids. My dad was not a complainer, he never mentioned being short of breath, he was mainly concerned with his upset stomach. On January 2nd, I was at my parents house to check on them. I am an RN, so my mom asked me to bring my stethoscope over to listen to his lungs. I couldn’t find it, so I went over with my pulse ox. His oxygen levels were 90-92% and he said he was breathing fine. The next morning, January 3rd, I went over in the morning to check on him. He was sleeping in his bed, he looked pale. When I checked his pulse ox, it was 85%. I told him to take some deep breaths, and let us try to get this oxygen level up to avoid the hospital. This didn’t help, his oxygen dropped to 82%, so I told my mom he needed to go to the ER.


Scared Into Taking Remdesivir


He sat in the ER waiting area for about 8 hours on 15 L nasal cannula, and my mom said his color looked a lot better. He had forgotten his phone so she dropped it off to him, otherwise, she wasn’t allowed in with him. I called the ER doctor once he was triaged into a room. I asked him to please start my dad on antibiotics and he agreed, he actually said he

would start 2. My sister thankfully worked for the same hospital, and was able to see him. She came home, and told us that they were starting my dad on high flow oxygen 50L 85%, and Remdesivir. I called and asked the doctor to hold off on the Remdesivir until after I spoke with my dad to make sure he was ok (or not) with taking it. He was an avid researcher on this bio weapon of a disease, as well as the treatments. The doctor agreed and did not start the medication, and his note stated that “Remdesivir held upon daughters request, will respect her wishes since it is past time frame, and his liver functions are elevated.”

The next day I spoke with my dad and asked him if he was asked about the Remdesivir, and if he was going to take it. His exact words were “I’m not opposed.” Now that I have SOME of his medical records, I see that he tried to refuse the Remdesivir, and I know that they scared him into taking it. They also started him on Baricitinib, which he also tried to refuse. I also found out that the doctor who came in the following day discontinued the antibiotics after he only received 1 dose of each. When I spoke with him and requested those antibiotics he stated, “that’s not how it works.” I was infuriated. I also asked them to start him on Budesonide, and was told that he was getting Symbicort, which contains Budesonide.


Denial of Proper Treatments

“I was continuously talked down to, being told that the WBC elevation was steroid induced.”

I called every single day to see what his labs were to make sure his body was handling the medications appropriately. He did begin to require more oxygen, so they added a non rebreather mask as well. Fast forward a few days, I noticed his white blood cell count began to slowly increase. Knowing that the steroids and Baricitinib both increase your risk for infection, I asked every day for them to please restart those antibiotics. I was continuously talked down to, being told that the WBC elevation was steroid induced, and everything was just contributed to “Covid.” Also, per the progress notes, he was slowly improving. On January 17th I called the nurse and she stated that he’s feeling better, and “really seems to have turned a corner.” I was so happy, since he was barely answering his phone and didn’t want to talk with all of the oxygen masks on his face. Unfortunately, the next morning, my mom received a call that my dad had a change in mental status, and had fallen out of his chair. They did blood cultures, and of course as I expected would happen, he was positive for staph aureus. He was septic. Something that most likely would have been avoided if they had just kept him on those antibiotics.


Kept From Visiting


“My sister was able to see him every single day, but the day he went to the ICU, she was stopped.”

They then started him on Vancomycin, since they did not know the source of the infection, and he was then transferred to the ICU. My sister was able to see him every single day, but the day he went to the ICU, she was stopped as she tried to enter his room, and was told she

was not allowed in there (she’s an NP and sees patients in the ICU all the time). She looked through the window and said he was sleeping in the bed, with only the high flow oxygen on, not the non rebreather anymore. We were told that he was stable respiratory wise. We planned on my sister dropping off an iPad for him, so we could FaceTime him. Then on 1/20/2022, we received another horrible phone call. He declined rapidly and needed to be intubated. Upon reading the notes, I believe this was done against his will. Of course, it was after this that we were allowed to finally be with him. Also, I realized after the fact that they stopped giving him the Symbicort after he was intubated, which ultimately lead to extreme inflammation of his lungs, and death.


A Life Taken


My mom, my siblings, his sisters, and myself were all by his side when he went home to be with God. Our lives will never be the same, our hearts are completely shattered. We were

robbed of his time, his grandkids were robbed of his time, and they are heartbroken. He was 72, extremely healthy, and had a lot of life left to live. He served his country as a Marine in Vietnam, and spent the rest of his career in law enforcement, retiring about 3 years ago. We honestly cannot grieve appropriately until someone is held accountable for his unnecessary suffering and death. And every single one of these 100% avoidable deaths. My prayers are with everyone going through this awful heartache.


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